Edmund Blunden

(1896-1974)

Blunden survived the war to live well into our own time, and he spent the greater part of his life after the war at Oxford, as a fellow of Merton College. He was truly, as Paul Fussell describes him, a "poet, scholar, editor, and man of letters." "Blunden was one [Fussell continues] whose whole life was powerfully dominated by his wartime experience as a shy company officer in some of the worst of the fighting, including the battle of Passchendaele" (Third Ypres). There is also a very important memoir by him, Undertones of War (1928), as well as his tribute to Wilfrid Owen, including in the course's edition of Owen's poetry. Follow this link to go to pages about Blunden and pastoral.

For an initial page, with a photograph of Blunden in later life and some related links, see the basic information here: Blunden links.

The links below provide important commentary on some of his war poems:

"Preparations for Victory," hypertext (a beginning)

Current student essays:

"Preparations for Victory," a commentary by Ada Palmer

Peer commentary for Palmer's essay, by Jean Otsuki

Blunden and the Prophetic Potentiality of 'Yet' in "Preparations for Victory," by Jean Otsuki

Peer commentary for Otsuki's essay, by Ada Palmer

On Thin Ice: Blunden's "The Midnight Skaters," by Susan Quigley

Peer commentary for Quigley's essay, by Andrew Kerr

"The Ancre at Hamel: Afterwards," a commentary by Andrew Kerr

Peer commentary for Kerr's essay, by Susan Quigley

 

Commentary from seminar students in 1997:

"Preparations for Victory," a commentary by Annelyse Finley

"Preparations for Victory," a commentary by Jason Lublinski

"Preparations for Victory," a commentary by Richard Zito

"La Quinque Rue" and "The Midnight Skaters," a commentary by Andrea Walker